Chapter 15: Olivia
I watched with wide eyes, trembling as Noah paced the floor, hands running through his hair and grabbing at it as Mason repeated what he'd told me just a few minutes ago.
"When I went into town yesterday... One of the stored had a radio broadcasting, and they talked about your disappearance. Apparently you're some kind of wealthy businessman, and once they'd said your whole name and described you and the timeline, I knew they were talking about you."
Noah stopped and looked at him, eyes narrowed. "And you thought it'd be nice to fuck one more time before you told me the truth and sent me away, is that it? Did you tell Olivia too and you both decided to use me for your own pleasure?"
My gasp of hurt indignation sounded at the same time as Mason's growl. I watched as Mason strode over to Noah and grabbed a handful of his hair, pulling his head back and forcing him to look into his eyes.
"Listen real good Noah, because I don't like repeating myself. I would never treat you that way, and neither would Olivia and you fucking know it. If you loved us like we loved you, that's not something you would ever believe."
Noah stiffened in his grip, and tears welled up in my eyes at the declaration that was out between us and hanging in the air. Noah swallowed hard, searching Mason's face for the truth. He must have found it, because less than a second later his body went limp. Mason caught him easily, wrapping his arms around him as Noah buried his face in his shoulder. Tears were already streaming down my face when Mason gestured for me to come over and join them.
I stood and walked over, plastering myself against their sides and wrapping my arms around as much of them as I could reach. Mason and I held a trembling Noah, waiting for him to be ready to face us again.
"You guys love me?" The question was muffled, but both Mason and I heard it well enough. Noah pulled away from Mason's shoulder when the two of us stayed silent. He searched our faces, and when his red-rimmed eyes met my own, I smiled softly.
"Of course we do, you silly idiot."
A choked, surprised laugh blew out between his lips. He cleared his throat, his Adam's apple bobbing. "I love you guys too. I didn't mean what I said before, I just..."
"Noah, it's alright. We know you didn't mean it."
Noah shook his head at my words, then extricated himself from our embrace. He took a step away from us, and his throat flushed, his gaze not meeting ours as he spoke again.
"I don't," he started then paused to take a deep breath. "I don't think that Noah Slate Pierson is a very good man."
"You don't have to be the same person you were before, you know that right? Whether you were horrible or not, there's always a chance to make a change if that's what you really want." I believed with all my heart the words I was saying. Sure, I had no idea what kind of man Noah had been before we found him but I knew what kind of man he was now and that was what mattered to me.
"I appreciate that. I think though, that I'm going to go for a walk. I'll be back later." Mason and I watched Noah go to his room and emerge a few moments later with shoes and a shirt on. I managed to stay quiet until the door shut behind him, and turned to Mason who interrupted me before I could say a word.
"No Olivia, I know what you're going to say. Give him some space. He's got a lot to figure out right now."
"But, his vision..."
"I think he's healed enough to be safe. It's still morning so he's got plenty of time before the sun even begins to set. His visibility should be just fine."
"Well, okay. I just worry."
"Come here baby," he said and opened his arms to me. I gladly went to him, nestling into his neck when he lifted me off the ground and sat on the couch, cradling me in his lap. His hands rubbed my back and ran through my hair as he continued. "Noah is going through a lot right now, and he'll probably want to go back home to figure out what happened and what he wants his life to look like."
"This is his home," I muttered stubbornly.
He chuckled warmly. "My little spitfire. Of course this is his home, but only if he wants it to be. We have to let him make his own decision, no matter how we feel. Do you love him, Olivia?"
I lifted my head at the question, looking him in the eyes so he would understand the seriousness of my answer.
"With everything in me. I love you, and I love him, and I love us all together. I really think he's the piece we've been missing Mason, and I'm terrified that if he goes he won't come back."
He swallowed and nodded. "I know what you mean. I promise you this right now Liv, that no matter what decision he makes, I'm going to keep loving you just the way I do now. We'll figure out how to make it work just like we always do."
I leaned forward, kissing him with all the love and fear and thanks I had in me. Without me even saying it, he knew that part of the reason I was afraid of Noah leaving was that it would break this new bond that had developed between Mason and I. I vowed in my heart to work just as hard as Mason to keep us together- but I was absolutely going to do my damndest to make sure Noah knew this was his home. That Mason and I were his home, and it wouldn't change no matter what was in his past.
Mason and I finished making breakfast and ate it in thoughtful silence, leaving a plate in the microwave for Noah whenever he got back. I did a bunch of unnecessary cleaning to try and get my mind off worrying about Noah, and when that didn't work I went outside to do some yoga. Not only did that usually help calm my mind, but it would help me keep an eye out for Noah.
I was going through my second round of moves when his voice had me opening my eyes.
"Now that's a sight to come home to." I whipped around and saw Noah standing there, a half-smile on his face. I walked over to him and squeezed him tight in a hug. He wrapped his arms around my shoulders and I felt him place a kiss on the top of my head, filling my body with warmth.
"I love you Noah." I lifted my head to look up at him, searching his face.
"I love you too Olivia." He smiled at me, but it didn't quite reach his eyes. I let out a slow breath, knowing that I couldn't rush him with everything going on right now. He had to have so many questions about his life, and I doubted he had much of an answer for them.
I had to have patience, give him some time to adjust. I could love him, and maybe that would be enough.